Citrus growers unite in Brazil

CITRUS CONFERENCE: The International Citrus Congress held in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, last month brought together a wide range of people involved in the citrus industry. It was attended by around 1000 delegates from 55 countries. Pictures supplied
FOCUS ON PEST: First Fresh technical manager and citrus orchard owner Matt Carter enjoyed attending the international citrus congress where there was a a big focus on insect pest “Asian Citrus Psyllid” and the disease that it carries “Huanglongbing” or “Citrus Greening”, which has devastated citrus orchards in Florida in particular, but also other US states, South America and Asia. Picture supplied

GISBORNE citrus growers made up the majority of a New Zealand delegation to the International Citrus Congress in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, last month.

They were First Fresh technical manager and citrus orchard owner Matt Carter, Makauri growers Delise and Andrew Ellmers, and Sally Anderson from New Zealand Citrus Growers Incorporated (NZCGI).

This event is held every four years in different locations around the world.

Mr Carter says it brings together a wide range of people involved in the citrus industry.

The 2016 Congress was attended by around 1000 delegates from 55 countries.

As well as the small New Zealand contingent, there were around 20 people there from the Australian Citrus Industry.

North and South American delegates were numerous, as were people in their own backyard so-to-speak from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay and the USA.

The programme opened with some brief overview presentations on the International Society for Citriculture, and the Brazilian Citrus Industry.

This was followed by a cocktail reception with traditional Brazilian music and entertainment.

“The Congress ran for five days, with a day off in the middle of the week for sightseeing and recuperation.

Keynote speakers

“Keynote speakers filled the first two sessions each day, until mid-morning, covering off a wide range of topics including the global juice market, pest control strategies, climate change, GMO’s and nutrition,” said Mr Carter.

Following the speakers, a series of concurrent sessions were run on an even wider range of topics where scientific papers were presented on citrus research being undertaken all over the world.

There was a big focus on the insect pest Asian Citrus Psyllid and the disease that it carries — Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening, which has devastated citrus orchards in Florida in particular, but also other US states, South America and Asia.

“This is a major concern for New Zealand and Australian citrus growers, and it is good to know there is a huge amount of work going into all aspects of control for this problem. This work includes pest control, tree health and nutrition, plus rootstock and variety selection for resistance and tolerance,” he said.

There was a good spread of topics that also related to, or of interest to, the New Zealand citrus industry.

“These will be communicated to citrus growers through the industry publication Citrus News, and through First Fresh Technical articles, which go to First Fresh growers.

“Nutrition, pest management, varieties, harvest management, rootstock selections and post-harvest defects and management are all relevant to our industry.”

Mr Carter said the citrus industry in the host country Brazil was quite different to ours.

“Brazil grows approximately 750,000 hectares of citrus (compared with New Zealand?s 1500 hectares and Australia’s 32,000 hectares) and the vast majority of Brazil’s citrus is composed of sweet oranges (Navel and Valencia varieties), with most of that going to juice production.

“Brazil produces 80 percent of the world’s orange juice. The area the Congress was held in is not a citrus-growing area, so unfortunately we didn’t see any orchards”.

Foz do Iguacu

The Congress was held at the Mabu Thermas Resort in Foz do Iguacu.

Iguacu is famous for the Iguacu Falls on the Iguacu River. The river is the border between Brazil and Argentina.

Paraguay also borders the town. The Iguacu Falls consists of up to 300 waterfalls, with the “Devils Throat” being the largest and most spectacular.

Getting there is now quite easy, with a direct Air New Zealand flight to Buenos Aries, followed by a two-hour flight to Puerto Iguazu on the Argentinian side of the falls.

A quick taxi ride through the border and across the river gets you into Brazil, said Mr Carter.

The trip was funded by First Fresh, with registration costs for the Congress being funded by NZCGI.

As well as working for First Fresh, Mr Carter owns Hill Road Orchard in Ormond with wife Cath.

GISBORNE citrus growers made up the majority of a New Zealand delegation to the International Citrus Congress in Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, last month.

They were First Fresh technical manager and citrus orchard owner Matt Carter, Makauri growers Delise and Andrew Ellmers, and Sally Anderson from New Zealand Citrus Growers Incorporated (NZCGI).

This event is held every four years in different locations around the world.

Mr Carter says it brings together a wide range of people involved in the citrus industry.

The 2016 Congress was attended by around 1000 delegates from 55 countries.

As well as the small New Zealand contingent, there were around 20 people there from the Australian Citrus Industry.

North and South American delegates were numerous, as were people in their own backyard so-to-speak from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay and the USA.

The programme opened with some brief overview presentations on the International Society for Citriculture, and the Brazilian Citrus Industry.

This was followed by a cocktail reception with traditional Brazilian music and entertainment.

“The Congress ran for five days, with a day off in the middle of the week for sightseeing and recuperation.

Keynote speakers

“Keynote speakers filled the first two sessions each day, until mid-morning, covering off a wide range of topics including the global juice market, pest control strategies, climate change, GMO’s and nutrition,” said Mr Carter.

Following the speakers, a series of concurrent sessions were run on an even wider range of topics where scientific papers were presented on citrus research being undertaken all over the world.

There was a big focus on the insect pest Asian Citrus Psyllid and the disease that it carries — Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening, which has devastated citrus orchards in Florida in particular, but also other US states, South America and Asia.

“This is a major concern for New Zealand and Australian citrus growers, and it is good to know there is a huge amount of work going into all aspects of control for this problem. This work includes pest control, tree health and nutrition, plus rootstock and variety selection for resistance and tolerance,” he said.

There was a good spread of topics that also related to, or of interest to, the New Zealand citrus industry.

“These will be communicated to citrus growers through the industry publication Citrus News, and through First Fresh Technical articles, which go to First Fresh growers.

“Nutrition, pest management, varieties, harvest management, rootstock selections and post-harvest defects and management are all relevant to our industry.”

Mr Carter said the citrus industry in the host country Brazil was quite different to ours.

“Brazil grows approximately 750,000 hectares of citrus (compared with New Zealand?s 1500 hectares and Australia’s 32,000 hectares) and the vast majority of Brazil’s citrus is composed of sweet oranges (Navel and Valencia varieties), with most of that going to juice production.

“Brazil produces 80 percent of the world’s orange juice. The area the Congress was held in is not a citrus-growing area, so unfortunately we didn’t see any orchards”.

Foz do Iguacu

The Congress was held at the Mabu Thermas Resort in Foz do Iguacu.

Iguacu is famous for the Iguacu Falls on the Iguacu River. The river is the border between Brazil and Argentina.

Paraguay also borders the town. The Iguacu Falls consists of up to 300 waterfalls, with the “Devils Throat” being the largest and most spectacular.

Getting there is now quite easy, with a direct Air New Zealand flight to Buenos Aries, followed by a two-hour flight to Puerto Iguazu on the Argentinian side of the falls.

A quick taxi ride through the border and across the river gets you into Brazil, said Mr Carter.

The trip was funded by First Fresh, with registration costs for the Congress being funded by NZCGI.

As well as working for First Fresh, Mr Carter owns Hill Road Orchard in Ormond with wife Cath.

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